How To Raise Christian Children

For parents who have been seeking a biblical guide on raising godly children, here is a guide on how to raise Christian children.
For a Christian, I believe whether or not to raise one's children in a way that pleases God, shouldn't be a question. Every genuine Christian knows that it is required of them to bring up their children in the way of the Lord. So, follow up as we learn how to raise Christian children in today's society. 

How To Raise Christian Children

Raising godly children in a fast-changing world, is honestly one of the most challenging jobs to do. Unlike in the homes of unbelievers—where children are simply allowed to 'live their lives', Christian parents are vested with the responsibility of ensuring that their kids don't grow up to live an ungodly and worldly life. 

Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

When the boy Samuel was born, his mother Hannah, said that children belong to God (1 Samuel 1:27-28). Because children come from God, parents are chosen by God to be good stewards over children. 

The prophetess Hannah understood that God was the One who gave her the joy Samuel, and so in one way or another, that it was required of her to give back the child back to God. This, she was able to achieve by bringing him up in the way of the Lord.

1 Samuel 1:28 NIV
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.

The Bible also tells us in Psalm 127:3 that, children are a heritage from the Lord. A heritage is something transfered from the original owner to someone they deem worthy to be in possession of it; an inheritance. 

It's an established fact that God owns our children. He gave them to parents as a heritage. Parents are the heirs of God's children. And since God is not dead yet, parents still have to answer to Him on how they raise those children. 

We don't raise children by only making sure they are well-fed, bathed clean and well-dressed. The least we can do for God is to see to it that, our children grow up to know Him and walk in His ways, as commanded in Deuteronomy 5:33

Psalm 139:13 NIV
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

That said, parents don't own children; they are only God's stewards of them. No human created another human. The fact that God sent a child through you into the world, doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with that child. You are obliged to do with the children God gave you, only according to God's instructions and specifications. 

17 Men In The Bible Who Failed As Fathers

When it comes to Christian parenting, greater responsibility is laid upon fathers. This is why a balanced home must consist of both parents. 

Mothers perform greatly at nurturing. While fathers do well at instilling discipline, morals and values. A woman will naturally struggle to fill the gap a father left in their child, either through separation or negligence. 

We've seen too much of the effects of failed parenting in the world today; we keep seeing them daily—even on social media. Many children whose fathers failed to raise, grow up to constitute a nuisance to the society. 

Most of us grew up to recite the Bible verse that instructs children to honour their parents. It is stuck in our memories. But we rarely hear of the verse that follows afterwards, which is God's instruction to fathers:

Colossians 3:21 ESV
Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 

While children are instructed to obey and honour their parents, fathers are instructed to not provoke their children. Many other translations use the word “aggravate.” Fathers should not aggrevate their children. 

To aggravate means to make something worse than it was before. If my intervention in a situation “aggrevates” it, that means my intervention worsened that situation. 

Some fathers end up doing more harm than good in the lives of their children. I can't imagine fathers introducing their sons to alcohol and womanizing at a very tender age. But it's exactly what it is.

Some children would be better off, if they were left alone the way God created them. Some of these kids grow up to spend the rest of their lives correcting the damage their parents did to them. Most end up becoming the ones to raise themselves in the way of God. Sad but true. 

Ephesians 6:4 NLT
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Another meaning of aggrevate is to persistently annoy. There are fathers who end up making their children “hate” them, because of the way they weild their authority over the children. 

Why is it that fathers hardly obey God's instruction to not provoke their children?

Some fathers are too difficult to please. Nothing the child does is ever good enough in their eyes. They dish out punishment on the children for the slightest mistake they make. 

Due of such treatment, the children will come to the conclusion that, nothing they do will ever be good enough to the parents. So they'd rather be the “bad child” their parents think they are, and do nothing to please anyone.

According to Colossians 3:21, this is the result of being discouraged by their fathers. The effect is that the child will eventually give up on living right and start treading the path of destruction. 

Before parents start complaining about a child being stubborn—despite their efforts and has refused to change—they should ponder on how how they have been raising that child. 

Some fathers never have the time to reward their kids for good behavior or their achievements; they act like they don't notice. But are often swift to punish for bad behavior and poor performance. 

When the child does something good, dad is absent. But the moment they make a mistake, dad shows up to discipline. Why so? 

It is good to be a disciplinarian father, but balance must be ensured, so that it doesn't translate to wickedness. Don't let your kids grow up to be scared of you, that will likely not come from a place of love and reverence. 

I know that parents want their children to become the best they can be, but every child is different. Being too critical of your children for everything they do, will not make them do any better. It will end up discouraging them from making more efforts to do right. 

Although such kids may often act the “good kids” script at home to please their parents, you would regret discovering their secret lives or outside the home. 

As you play your role in raising your children in a way that pleases God, make sure you don't aggrevate them. If you end up making your children see you as a monster, you'll definitely bring the monster out of them. 

Let's take a look at 17 men in scriptures who failed as fathers, so that we can learn from their mistakes:

  1. Adam - Yes you heard it right. The first man failed to protect his son Cain and failed to prevent him from killing Abel. (Genesis 4:1-8)
  2. Jeroboam - Led the northern kingdom of Israel into idol worshipping, setting a bad example for his son Nadab. (1 Kings 12:25-33, 15:25-30)
  3. Jephthah - On his own accord, he sacrificed his daughter as a vow to God, causing great sorrow. (Judges 11:29-40)
  4. Laban - Manipulated and deceived his daughters Rachel and Leah, causing tension in their marriages. (Genesis 29-30)
  5. Elimelech - He relocated his family to Moab during a time of famine, which resulted in the death of himself and his sons. (Ruth 1:1-5)
  6. Isaac - Showed favoritism toward his son Esau, causing division and conflict within the family. (Genesis 27)
  7. Eliud - Gave room for his son Phinehas to serve as a priest, despite being involved in idolatry. (Judges 20:28)
  8. Manoah - Struggled to understand his son Samson's calling and failed to provide proper guidance. (Judges 13-16)
  9. Elkanah - Failed to maintain peace between his two wives, Hannah and Peninnah, causing strife in the family. (1 Samuel 1:1-8)
  10. Nabal - He acted without wisdom, leading to his own demise and leaving his wife Abigail as a widow. (1 Samuel 25:2-38)
  11. Eli - The priest in Shiloh, failed to discipline his sons Hophni and Phinehas. As a result, they ended up as corrupt priests. (1 Samuel 2:12-17)
  12. Samuel - Failed to control and discipline his sons Joel and Abijah, and as a result, they turned out to be unjust judges. (1 Samuel 8:1-3)
  13. David - Failed in his responsibility to discipline his sons Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah. This led to strife and rebellion in his kingdom. (2 Samuel 13-19)
  14. Solomon - Despite his wisdom, he failed to instill godly values in his son Rehoboam, this caused division of the kingdom. (1 Kings 11:9-13)
  15. King Josiah - Though a righteous king, his son Jehoahaz turned to evil and was taken captive. (2 Kings 23:31-34)
  16. Job - Though he was a righteous man, he failed to rebuke or correct his sons, leading to their demise. (Job 1:4-5, 13-19)
  17. Aaron - Allowed his sons Nadab and Abihu to offer strange fire before the Lord, causing the death of the duo. (Leviticus 10:1-2)

These are 17 Bible stories of how men failed in raising their children. The Bible never mentioned that the mothers of these children failed, but their fathers. We should take note. 

We are witnessing an insane level of immorality and moral decadence in today's world, because men are fast failing at fulfilling their responsibilities in wise and God-centered parenting. 

If today's Christian men must be better than the men the Bible used as bad examples of parents above, then they must be committed to doing better in raising their children. 

How To Raise Godly Children

In the following steps, we will learn how parents can raise godly children, even in an ungodly world. 

1. Lead By Example

As a parent, you have to be intentional about modeling for your children the kind of life you want them to live. 

Because parents are the first humans children look up to and trust with their life, they will often mirror, repeat and practice the actions of their parents, more than that of anyone one else. 

Children's imitative learning ability in their early childhood, should be wisely harnessed by parents to shape them into the adults they want them to become. 

Don't leave your kids for teachers alone to mould, and blame teachers for your children's bad behaviour. It simply shows that you're an irresponsible parent. 

It is your responsibility to model what a Christian should look like to your kids. Don't tell them to do one thing while you're doing another, completely different from what you told them to do. 

2. Teach Them About God And The Bible

It is critical to start teaching your children the word of God, even from a very tender age. Let it shape their minds, mindset and lifestyle. 

Teach and let your children know that everything they do in every day of their life should align with what they learn from scriptures.

Isaiah 54:13 ESV
All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.

Teach your kids to read the Bible daily. In their early childhood, give them simple scriptures to playfully memorize. Let them know that they are obliged to live a life that pleases God, both in the open and in secret. 

It will be difficult for your kids to go astray, when they have been taught and raised to lead their life according to tenets of the holy scriptures. 

3. Pray With Them And Teach Them To Pray

Set a good example by always praying for and with your children. Let them see how much you value prayer, and how seriously you treat it. 

Teach your children to say short prayers for themselves, before and after meals, and even while in school. 

Children will often grow up to become godly adults when they have grown to know and appreciate prayer

Let your children know that most difficulties can be overcome by asking for God's help through prayer, not by calling on their parents for help. 

Prayerful kids will often excel in their academics and in all their life endeavors, because they have learned to put God first through prayer. 

4. Set Clear Boundaries, Expectations And Consequences

Setting clear boundaries for what your kids should do and should not do, is part of teaching values to your children. They form the basic ethics of life, and will help them grow up to become well-mannered, wherever they find themselves. 

When out in public, say a public transport, it is not hard to spot kids whose parents haven't taught them the ethics of life. Don't allow your children to be classed among the “spoilt kids.”

It is your responsibility to educate your children on what you expect of them and things you don't expect them to do—both at home and outside the home. 

Let them know that there are consequences for doing the wrong things in life, and those consequences may rarely come from you as parents, but from life itself. Because the world is kept in order by numerous laws, the wrong actions will often trigger consequences. 

5. In All, Apply Love And Patience

While teaching your children to know GOD and to follow scriptural principles, you have to ensure you do all of these with love. 

Children may not always do the things you expect of them. They will eventually make mistakes, and sometimes, they will outrightly disobey you. But even when you discipline them, you should do so in love. Don't make them think you don't like them. 

It will take patience to teach and lead your children into the reality of who you want them to be. So don't get impatient and give up on them before they get there.

6. Foster A Healthy Relationship Among Them

Fostering a healthy relationship among your kids will go a long way to help their bonding. At the end of the day, you must have raised children who love and value themselves. 

Be careful not to practise favoritism among your children. Love them equally and show them why it is important for them to love and always be there for each other. 

Avoid anything that could make your children see each other as a competition. If that happens, you're going to raise a bunch of toxic, selfish and self-centered kids, who will grow up to become jealous of each other. 

7. Demonstrate To Them The Act Of Forgiveness

As a parent, you are required to lead by example by demonstrating forgiveness and its importance to your children. 

Firstly, be smart enough to seize the perfect opportunity to waive off punishment for an offence they expected to get punished, especially if they didn't intentionally commit it. That will go a long way to leave a lasting positive impression on them, concerning the act of forgiveness. 

Ephesians 4:32 BSB
Be kind and tenderhearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.

Avoid using words like, “I will not forgive you for this thing you just did.” I've heard a parent use those words on their child before, and I don't think that's an experience a child can easily forget. 

If you don't want your kids to grow up into aggressive and vengeful adults, you have to be very intentional about demonstrating forgiveness to them. 

8. Teach Them Contentment

Teach your children the need to be contented with what they have in every stage of their life. 

It's always a shameful thing for parents to receive reports that their child stole another child's belongings at school and got caught. 

Teaching your kids contentment will go a long way to spare you unnecessary trouble, and help them grow into responsible adults who work hard for what they want, and live within their means. 

9. Teach Them Selflessness

Selflessness is an act of love, and whoever does not love is not godly (1 John 4:8). You have the responsibility to teach your children to be selfless towards others, as an act of love. 

This is part and parcel of the scriptural principles your children should imbibe. A selfish person is always an ugly sight to behold. 

10. Instill In Them The Fear Of God

It is of utmost importance to teach your children the need to fear God. Teach them how important it is to obey God, both when others are watching and when no one is watching.

Deuteronomy 4:10 NLT
Never forget the day when you stood before the LORD your God at Mount Sinai, where he told me, ‘Summon the people before me, and I will personally instruct them. Then they will learn to fear me as long as they live, and they will teach their children to fear me also.’

You won't always be with your children to see where they go and what they do. But God is always there. Letting them know that God is always watching them and expecting them to do right, will go a long way to instill in them the fear of God. 

It is the fear of God that will enable your kids stick to the boundaries you set for them, and refuse to do the wrong things even when no one is watching.

Once you successfully instill the fear of God in your children, you can be rest assured that they will always honour God in their deeds and words, both in your presence or absence.

Final Thoughts On Raising Godly Children

Notice that I've said much about fathers in this teaching, but I am not downplaying the role of mothers in raising godly children. Mothers can as well play a great role in helping fathers raise their children in the ways of the Lord.

Raising godly kids can be quite daunting, especially in these last days. But this can be made much easier, if parents agree and live in harmony with each other. No one should expect to raise godly kids in a chaotic home. It all begins you, the parents. 

I strongly believe that, no matter how morally decayed the world is, parents can still shield their kids from the negative influences of society, and raise them to become well-mannered adults who live out the Christ-like lifestyle.

Beloved, I trust the by reading this article, you were able to gain knowledge on how to raise Christian children.

If you were blessed reading, go on and share this article with your friends and family.

Until next time. Remain blessed. 
Anointed And Gifted Christian Dream Interpreter, Christian Therapist, Writer And Web Designer.